Leah Schmidt, director of food & nutrition services for Hickman Mills (MO) C-1 School District, has been named the 66th president of the School Nutrition Association (SNA) and its membership of 55,000 school nutrition professionals nationwide. SNA members welcomed Schmidt to her new role during the closing session of SNA’s 67th Annual National Conference in Kansas City.

In her 22 years with Hickman Mills, Schmidt has worked her way up from cafeteria manager to field supervisor to her promotion to director in 1998. Her meal program serves 5,000 lunches and 3,200 breakfasts each school day.

In a community hard-hit by economic troubles, Schmidt has stepped up to ensure her students have access to healthy meals when school is out as her summer program serves 1,500 breakfasts and lunches daily and she recently launched a supper program serving approximately 800 after-school meals at 10 locations each school day.

Schmidt has held numerous leadership roles with both the national and Missouri SNA and has frequently been recognized for her achievements. In 2003 she earned the Foodservice Achievement Management Excellence (FAME) Silver Rising Star Award and has also received USDA Best Practices Awards in 1998 and 2007.